Five-star LB Shawn Murphy breaks down his top eight and visit plans
Shawn Murphy’s recruiting process is already a few years old and the 2022 five-star has done the research he needed to narrow down his lengthy offer sheet. The Manassas (Va.) Unity Reed linebacker name a top eight on Wednesday night and is preparing an ambitious visit schedule once the recruiting dead period is over.
IN HIS OWN WORDS...
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and I think it's just the right time,” Murphy said. “I’m graduating early so I think this is the right time to announce my top schools. I don't have a decision date yet. A lot of these schools I picked for my top eight is based on how I think I could fit in their playing style and how good of a relationship I have with the coaches.”
Alabama- "I feel like they're one of the schools that fits my playing style and it's a really good home environment,” he said. “They have really good hospitality, really good coaches, and really good people. There is a lot of trust and I have a good relationship with the coaches. The National Championship was a very good game and it was fun to watch. Congrats to Alabama. I really talk to coach Sal and coach Golding, my position coaches. Coach Sal and I have regular conversations and coach Golding and I go over film."
Clemson- "I have a really good relationship with coach Venables,” said Murphy. “They have a lot of freedom but they also have a lot of responsibility. I also know I can take on a lot of responsibility because I want to be held accountable and I want the chance to make a lot of plays. I like how much they blitz too. I like the mixture of everything."
Florida- "I have a really good relationship with coach Robinson,” he said. “He's a cool dude, he's young, and he understands recruitment. He's really genuine and that's what I like to see and what I need to see. The coaching scheme is something I can fit in too. The schemes they're running and everything they're putting together on the field looks really nice. They know what they're doing."
Georgia- "I talk to coach Schumann and he's a really nice dude,” Murphy said. “He knows what he's doing and I feel like I could help build on that program. They executed really well on defense and I think I could do the same thing there."
Ohio State- "I have a really, really good relationship with coach Al,” he said. “He's a really cool dude and he knows what he's doing. He's also one those young coaches and everything he does on the field is really nice too. When we spoke, if I were to play at Ohio State, I know I'd have a lot of freedom on the field and that's what I like to see. I want to be the middle linebacker that can use my running skills and showcase all my abilities.
"I feel like it's a really nice place and I'm really comfortable there,” said Murphy. “It's a nice place to be but I just need to see it more. There's no smooth talk from Tyleik (Williams). He's just straight up about it, telling me to commit."
Oklahoma- "Coach Odom and his progression with Kenneth Murray is big for me,” he said. “The conversations he told he had with Kenneth were really nice. We had a really deep talk about it and his drive for his players is what a lot of players need in life. I noticed how dominant that defense became later in the season. It's a very nice school and a very good program."
Oregon- "I've had some really good conversations with coach Wilson,” Murphy said. “He's a really good dude and knows what he's doing too. He got two five-star linebackers in the same class (Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell) and that's pretty crazy. He obviously knows what he's doing if he can recruit those two guys. Coach Wilson was sending me clips of Sewell and he was doing really well. He made a lot of plays and he's only a freshman. I definitely know I can fit in their scheme."
Penn State- "I talk to coach Pry and but I think I coach Seider more,” he said. “Coach Seider is a really great dude. He only has good intentions, is genuine, he's always checking up on me, and is really funny. Coach Pry is the same way. They have a really good scheme and coach Pry really knows what he's doing. When I watched film with them I saw how dangerous Micah Parsons was and I know, because of the way he played, I know I could do the same things there. He texts me all the time says I'm the only one that can wear number 11 next. He worked really hard up there. He's just a workhorse."
On his visit plans- “I’ve already visited Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Penn State,” said Murphy. “I’m going to try to get out to the west coast to see Oregon first because that'll probably be the hardest thing to do and I don't want to wait too long to try and do that. I think that'll be my first thing I try to do when the dead period ends. After that I want to go to Oklahoma then Florida, Georgia, and the other schools I previously visited.”
What he thinks of people saying he’s leaning towards Ohio State- “I’m not biased towards Ohio State or any school. It's just something everybody talks about. I don't know where that's coming from but it's funny.”
Murphy has plenty of options but is really trying not to rush the process. Despite him saying Ohio State isn’t the leader, it is the school he has the most connections to and he’s been there more than any other school. Alabama, Clemson, and Penn State have invested a lot of time and effort recruiting Murphy so far and they’ll be top contenders for him when it comes to decision time. His reaction to visits to Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Oregon will be interesting to see. Those are the schools he is least familiar with but his relationships with those coaches are very strong. Murphy ruled out taking any visits during the dead period so his recruitment will likely go on until at least July or August.